My Poker Hand

Taking a gamble, whether in cards or life is a “crap shoot”. I’m taking the gamble and I’m all in.

I am not a gambler, but…

Sometimes in life we have to play poker. And right now, in my life, I’m playing a game a poker. And it appears as if I’m “all in”!

I’ve been to Vegas, I’ve been to the races, I am very familiar with all the gambling out there, but I was never one for actually placing the bets.

When I was 18 or 19 I was in school in Michigan. Dad and I had a tradition of having father/daughter vacations, and this one was no different. He flew me out to Vegas, we met up, he gave me some money and said, “Have at it, girl! Do whatever you want, but when the money’s gone, you’re done.”

I don’t know if he was trying to teach me a lesson, teach me to be on my own, or just plain get rid of me, but what I did was not gamble at all. Oh, I walked the “great rooms”, but I watched. I learned. For hours. I went from casino to casino and just watched everybody else gamble. I learned how to play the games, all the tricks, the ups, the downs, EVERYTHING!

So what happened to all my money dad gave me? I saved it!

But today’s story is about knowing when to play, when to hold, when to show, and the biggest lesson I learned was to know who you’re playing against.

A lesson to last a lifetime

It was one of the best lessons I ever learned. I loved it so much, I taught employees, friends, family, everybody. “Know the Player”. It really is that simple. Know that person better than he knows himself.

And today, right now, in my life, I’m playing against a player who thinks he’s holding the best cards.

This past Tuesday, the final card was drawn. I drew the Ace of Hearts. Royal Flush. But at this point, I have no idea what he’s holding.

And there’s a possibility of a third person sitting at our table. Only time will tell.

Ambiguity

I do apologize for the secrecy, but I can not show my hand just yet. Bare with me, all will be clear soon enough.

Patience: one of those virtues we all could use a little bit more of in today’s world. I’m practicing mine. Are you practicing yours?

Stay tuned.

C

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372 Days…

One year and a week. That’s how much time has passed …

since the last time I saw my (IN)significant other as the man I married 6 years ago this July.

The way I saw him then is completely different than how I see him now. What changed you ask. A LOT! Actually, the only one thing that changed is me. I changed. I changed in how I “see” him, I changed in how I view life, and I changed in how, most importantly, I live my life.

It hasn’t been easy, by any stretch of the means. In fact, it’s been quite rough. But I made it through. I survived. And I came out better for it.

A year ago, I finally had enough of his bullshit and I kicked him out of my home. Enough of his lying, cheating, narcissistic, psychopathic ways.

I could write a book, which I am, on all the different ways he’s hurt me. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll know.

But the whole reason I started this blog was to let you know; you’re not alone and that if you put a little effort into “it”, whatever “it” is, you can make it in this world.

I decided to put my big girl panties on. I went back to school. And it was wonderful! I can’t even tell you why I did. I’m already a great writer, a published writer even! But I did it.

I was determined to get good grades. I achieved high A’s in both of my classes and as of this writing I will be starting class No. 3 in a day.

I had a vision.

When I decided to go back to school, I was a little lost. Ok, a lot lost. I didn’t know what I was going to do without this man in my life, without the income, without the person I thought I loved in my life.

But the strangest thing happened.

After finishing those 2 classes (and one was math, ugh!) I realized something.

For the first time in my life it didn’t matter that he wasn’t there. I DID it! I survived all his abuse. And I’m the one that came out better for it.

Would you like to know where he is in life? Homeless, supposedly no jobs and no friends. No life!

And on those days, when I feel sorry for myself or feel down in the dumps or want to crawl under a rock…

I think…

How wonderful my life truly is. I am so much better now than I was before. And even more than that,

I am so very grateful for all that I have.

And then it all clicked.

My 2018 in Review

As is typical to my OCD nature, and today being the last day of this year, I spent this morning getting my new calendar ready for 2019. Things like my kids birthdays, my granddaughters birthday and the dates and times I need to have my posts published for the customers I currently have.

I write a lot on my monthly pages. Mostly short “to-do”‘s, but a few notes here and there. Like the things that made an impact on my life for the year. Some positive, some negative.

Being the new, sober Christine, I thought I would take the opportunity this morning to go through those notes. Boy, was I surprised.

Once I saw all these notes, I realized how great my life truly is. But more importantly, to be grateful for what I do have.

I thought I would share with you my year and it’s lesson’s learned.

January: My estranged husband made a, albeit stupid, comment about the fact that if he had to buy me a car, he would be choosing the vehicle. Being the stubborn “hunky” that I am, I decided no effin way! So I started working with my eldest son helping him with his company. I saved as much as I could.

Lesson Learned? Persevere!

February: I bought that truck! A beautiful 2-seater, 2002 Mazda B-2500. All Manual. And I mean ALL. From the shifting to the windows. But it was mine, and I paid for it with MY money.

Lesson Learned? Work Hard and You Can Have It.

Vision Board, The Law of Attraction
My Vision Board 2018

March: Started my Vision Board. If you don’t know about it, read The Secret or anything about the Law of Attraction. Between that, my AA meetings, being called an “AA Bitch” and reading and learning everything I could, I made a conscience decision that I had had enough of the life I was living. It was time to make changes. And did I make them; major ones.

Lesson Learned? Determination. (although my family may call it “hard-headed.”)

Redd, the Red Bone Coon Hound

April: On April 19th, Redd, (no, I did not name him) the Red Bone Coon Hound joined my family. He is a rescue dog and about 1 1/2 years old. Ten days later, I said goodbye to the estranged husband. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. I’d be lying if I said I no longer loved him. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss him. But he had become toxic for me. It had become an extremely unhealthy relationship. Well, quite honestly, he was never right. He was just “right then”. Being able to admit that was difficult. But here I am, yelling it to the “world”. But, every person enters our life for a reason. He came into my world to be my caretaker. I will never take away the fact that as I spent that year in the hospital, he took care of me and our home and animals. Yes, he may have cheated, lied, stole, and who knows what else, but when I needed someone to wipe my ass, or change my colostomy bag, or take me to doctors and hospitals, he was there. In hindsight, “kicking him out” was the best thing I could have done. For both of us.

Lesson Learned? As much as we may fear the unknown, follow through.

May: I lost a very dear and close friend. He was also an alcoholic survivor of 30-some years. Unfortunately, the too-many years of drinking did finally take a toll on him and his body. On May 25th, just a few short hours after I left his side for the final time, and his Higher Power had made His final arrangement for his Homecoming, Lou left this world. Rest in Peace, my friend.

Lesson Learned? Cherish those people that enter your life, and learn the lesson for their visit, whether short or long.

June: Status Quo. Nothing special, nothing outstanding.

Lesson Learned? Enjoy the serenity and the peace of the moment. For the storm may be coming.

July: Had an epiphony! Actually, it’s quite funny. I was in the bathroom, doing “bathroom” things, when the thought just hit me. I’ll go back to school. By this point, with the “husband” out of the picture and I was no longer working for my son and funds getting quite tight, I knew I needed to do something. My whole life I have had visions of being a writer. And with the whole “hospital” ordeal, I knew I needed to write a book. If I could help just one person… So I started getting things together. Once again, I had focus, vision, a plan. I figured I’m a single, white woman on disability, how hard could it be to get financial aid. That was the easy part. I was doing everything I could to be able to start in the fall. But, ahhh, my Higher Power had other plans for me.

Lesson Learned? Follow Your Dreams!

August: 2 years sober! Whoo Hoo!

Lesson Learned? It’s Never too Late to Learn Something New.

September: I’m sitting at my desk on a Sunday morning, reading and learning about copywriting. At this point, since school was going to be a little delayed, I needed to start getting some sort of income coming in. Then my phone starts going off. Text after text after text. WTF! Long story short, it’s her. The GF. Texting me that he was coming back home. Knowing all that I know about her, texting back is not an option. I needed to remain, as I had done in the past, the bigger better person. Do not stoop to her level. Of course, I’m thinking no way is he coming back. I had just finally gotten my life back on track. But an hour or so after the text tirade, he’s on my front porch, begging to come back home. This time, THIS TIME, there are rules. I stuck to my guns. “1. You’re just a roommate. 2. You will pay rent. 3. This is my house, my rules. 4. And you will not treat any of us as if we are second class citizens. You will be a guest in my house. This little world of mine no longer revolves around YOU! You will not step a foot into my house till you agree and follow these rules. Is that understood?” If ever a man could have a tail between his legs, this was it. The only reason I did any of this was really for my own selfish (monetary) reasons. But I figured for all the abuse he put me through, it was now my turn. I remained completely distant in all my words and actions. I had to keep reminding myself that he was only a roommate. I even made him sleep in a different room. He had stated that this time it was only temporary. That he would be moving back to North Carolina to be with his son and grand-kids. He would only being staying here till Thanksgiving. I figured since I tolerated his BS for 6 years, a few months would be a piece of cake. And between you and me, him leaving Florida and being with people that loved him, would be the best thing for him. I would soon realize you really can’t change a leopard’s spots.

Lesson Learned? Stay Strong. Be Quiet and Smarter.

Stay away from negative people, they have a problem for every solution.

October: An unfortunate opportunity presented itself. The Hurricane devastated the East Coast, including the Carolina’s. So instead of waiting till Thanksgiving, there was no time like the present for him to head North and begin his new life. I did everything I could to help him make this transition. He’s a handyman, and quite frankly, his work is exemplary, unfortunately his people skills and management skills SUCK! But North he went. He made contacts up there before-hand. Had a placed lined up, even work was ready to go for him when he got there. So in the early morning of October 6th, he was on the road. Needless to say, as much as I thought he was truly out of my life for good, except for the money he would send my way, I still heard from him. Almost regularly. And, of course, they were all lies. On Monday, October 15th, at about 5 in the afternoon, guess who was on my door step again? Eight days. He could only last 8 days. Once again, he thought he would have a free ride. He had told the people he was staying with that he would work from 7 – 7 to get the job done. They told me he was home by 1-2 in the afternoon, drinking. (There’s those leopard spots). So as he’s begging and pleading with me, once again, to move back into my home, the answer was easy and clear: NO!!! I think you can pretty much guess where he went.

Lesson Learned? A person can only change if they truly want to.

November: I got my business up and going, Writer’s a la Mode. I’m writing, I’m happy and I even have a few clients. But then this…

2003 BMW 745I

2003 BMW 745I

There’s a long story behind this gift from my youngest son. Basically, we traded vehicles. He has my truck and I drive this. But this vehicle used to belong to the eSTRANGEd one. He insisted on buying it back in April after I kicked him out. I had told him the previous year that we couldn’t afford this car. But he went ahead and bought it anyway once we were separated. Because of all his poor choices, or maybe it’s Karma, he needed to get his money back and let this car go. So my youngest son took it off his hands. He drove it for a little while, cleaned it up, did some repairs to it, and then one beautiful day, he says as he’s handing me the keys, “Here, Mom, this is for you.” No words could ever express my love, gratitude and blessings for my son and his wisdom. Thank you.

I am so happy and grateful for all the amazing opportunities that are coming my way.

December: Well, here it is, the end of the year, and a lot of things didn’t work out like I wanted them too. I feel like I am as broke as hell, and quite frankly, I am glad Christmas is over. I am really looking forward to the coming year. 2019 is going to be my year! I will have more customers, I will get this house the way it’s supposed to be, I will start class in January, I will graduate by the end of the year, I will be able to rely solely on my own, and I will have a great Christmas for my kids and granddaughter next year. I will follow my own path. I will make choices that are best for me, and most of all, I will stay S.A.S.S.I.!!!

Strong

Assertive

Smart

Sexy

Independent

Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!

My Extended Silence

I’m Baaaack!

In case you’ve been wondering, I have been on a quest. A Treasure Hunt of sorts.

Back in November, I put up my last post regarding my new business. I have been working diligently to get my website up and going, my thoughts down on paper, reorganizing everything and getting ready for the new year.

I will be blogging and posting both work and personal on a regular basis.

I have my topics ready to go, headlines are in the works and projects on the “stove top”.

I even managed to turn a bedroom into my full-blown writing room, complete with my cat Garibaldi, and my forever loyal fur buddy Redd by my side. Pictures will be forthcoming. They are all rescue animals.

I have also been dealing with a bout of depression. This Christmas was not as nice for my kids as I would have liked. But true to their nature and hopefully upbringing, they have bigger hearts than I sometimes give them credit for.

So, No, I did not fall off the earth, I did not fall into a black abyss. However, I did have a few loving friends and family that gave me the proverbial kick in the ass.

The treasure I received this giving season is the gift of family. And to them I say, thank you, for not giving up on me, for having faith in my newest endeavor, and for loving me in all my fucked up glory!

So to all of you, I wish you a very Happy New Year!

One Dollar.

First Dollar

It may seem silly.  Yes, that is a true $1 Dollar Bill.  Why am I posting it, you may ask?

Well, the answer is simple yet very complicated.

Simple Answer:  I earned it.  About 1000 of them. Writing.

Complicated Answer:  There are people out there, my “haters”, who feel they can put me down or at least try to make themselves feel better by posting negative things on social media. And that’s the lesson here, hidden, very carefully:  ONLY I CAN GIVE THEM THAT POWER.  OR CHOOSE NOT TOO.

Here’s the backstory.

A few weeks ago, after I thought what was finally enough of the “X”, I went snooping.  Big mistake.  I knew when I was typing her name that I should just stop.

“Don’t do it Christine.”

That practical, logical, nice girl sitting on my shoulder was giving me that look.  You know the one.  The look that every woman has that says, “You know I’m right!” But I found myself still typing.

And there it was.  Just a few posts down.  She found my business page.  Damn!

All it said was, “Writer’s a la Mode.  Yeah, right.  First you gotta be a writer.”

I had so many thoughts going through my head.  Most of them not nice.  In fact, down right evil.  I mean thoughts that would have gotten me thrown into jail.

I hate this woman with such a passion.  She has done so much to my life over the last 6 years.  She has known everything about me that can only be shared from someone close to me.  She knows things that only my then-husband and family would know.  And there in lies the problem.

It’s not her.

And it’s not him.

I made the mistake.  I kept him too long.  I should have kicked his ass out YEARS ago. It was me.  I was the weak one.  I was the one who couldn’t find the strength to get past all this.  I was the one who LET her have the power and control.

So last week, on Halloween, I proudly took that check to the bank, asked the very nice man behind the counter if I could cash a dollar from the check and if you could please make it a clean crisp one, that would be awesome.  He was more than happy to oblige.  He even asked if it was new enough.

So there it is.  That clean, crisp, beautiful dollar I EARNED!  As you can see, I have it pinned.  On my Vision Board.  Just one step closer to my goal.

Every day do something to get there.

“Nothing changes if nothing changes.”

Don’t let others control your attitude.

Find the strength to conquer EVERYTHING!

Find your happy.

And make every day count!

Christine

P.S.  I no longer “hate” this woman.  It’s not her fault she hasn’t found her happiness and peace yet.  She obviously has self esteem issues.  I do pray for her everyday.  Think she’ll find this blog?  Think she’ll find the strength to look for something different?  I can only pray that she does, someday.  Before it’s too late.

 

Praying by Kesha

Praying

I may not post as much as I should, or would like to, but when I do, I want it to mean something.  I want you, the reader, to be impacted.  I want you to stop in your tracks, stop what you’re doing and just breathe.  And maybe say a wow or two.

I heard this song today;  Praying by Kesha.  Go to the video here on youtube and just listen to the words.  They made an impact on me.  So much so, I created the above picture.  Please feel free to share, with everyone.

To the man that hurt me, and his (homewrecking?) girlfriend, I  am already coming out on top.  “People that try to bring you down are below you for a reason.”

What I want you to know is that no matter how much this may seem that I am bitter, hurt, scarred ( well maybe a little):  I AM NOT.  Refer back to my Lioness post.  I thank Him everyday for all that I have.  And what I have today and everyday is peace.   And yes, in case you’re wondering, I pray for the both of them everyday.  I pray they find what they both are looking for, I pray they both find their peace.

Thank you Kesha for a beautiful and powerful song.  May we all find the strength to forgive, give peace and pray for someone who needs it more than ourselves.

The Seven Dwarfs…

The Seven Dwarfs of Sickness that live in the Land of Flemm.

I’ve been quite under the weather recently and considering my previous “ale-ments”, I haven’t felt much like doing anything.  With enough metal in my liver to set off any metal or imaging detector, I really do need to be careful what I put into my body.  This includes Over-The-Counter medicines.  So when I do get sick, which has been almost non-existent these last 2 years, probably based on the amount of medicine’s that were pumped into my body, this sickness will take hold like a baby Three-Toed Sloth holding onto its mother’s body for dear life.

As I was feeling quite better, not 100%, and quite frankly not 75%, I decided it was time to get up and move a little bit.  Clean up as it were around the house.  I do live alone with my 2 beautiful cats and one rather very stubborn Red Bone Coon Hound.  All 3 are rescue animals.  Colonel Vaynne, Garibaldi, and Redd, respectively.

Not to bore you with the mundane chores of the morning, but when I’m done with those I sit down at my computer and plan my day, read my emails, decide what’s important, what can wait, and start tackling things.  Today’s biggest challenge was getting my bills paid.  Any writer will tell you that staying focused is key.  However, this morning, something I read sparked this next post.

So without further adieu, I present to you the Seven Dwarfs From the Land of Flemm.    In no particular order.

SNEEZY:  I think we all know him.  He’s the one that sneaks up on you, comes out of nowhere and the next thing you know, your eyes are closed, head is bobbing and weaving like a car dash mounted bobble head and you’re going, “oh my goodness, where did THAT come from?”  However, the other Sneezy I’ve been dealing with is the one that you can feel, way down low, deep in your lungs making its way up the tracks like a roller coaster, just waiting to reach the top, that moment of “is it going over or not” , the one that gives you time to hold on for dear life while you find the biggest snot rag you can find because you know this is going to be the big one, the mother of all sneezes, the one that you can finally breath again with, the one to end all sneezes only to have another one right behind it.  The even-more-evil-twin brother.  And these two have been mining in the Land of Flemm for several days.  They have mining snot carts filled with their precious treasure all to willing to share with anyone and everyone.  They’re throwing their hands full of snot like its candy coming from the elves at the Christmas Day Parade.  Just when you think its all done, all gone, and you lay back down trying to breathe again and regain some sort of composure, you realize they are not twins but octuplets all too eager to share their treasures too!

ACHEY:  This little guy is a pain in the ass.  He’s also a pain in my head, back, legs, lungs, chest, in fact it’s safe to say he’s brought the whole damn family to mine your entire body, from head to toe.  Which brings me to the next brother.

GRUMPY:  I think this little guy has spoken for himself.  Oh, did I mention he’s related very closely to the original Grumpy we all know from our childhood fairy tales.

SLEEPY:  I don’t even know where to begin with him.  He’s the one you want more than anything else in the world right now.  That peaceful little guy, with his dreamy eyes, that you pray for.  And at this point you’ll pray to any deity on earth just to let him in.  I don’t know where he went.  All I can picture is the other six got together, had a closed meeting and decided he’s off the island!  Either that or the Gnomes kidnapped him and is holding him hostage.  This is now where I have to introduce DOPEY because it appears I can’t even think straight.  I just had to reread what I had written several times only to delete it all together because none of it was making sense!  Oh the expletives I would love to use right about now!

ICKY:  This is the little man who can’t make up his mind if he’s too hot or too cold.  Fever or no fever.  Chills or no chills.  Sweats or no sweats. And I’m not talking about the clothing I’ve been living in for the last 6 days.  I feel like he’s running rampant through my body just opening and closing doors and windows.  The little guy has eaten the wrong “shroom” somewhere along the way and is now experiencing home-grown, drug-induced, dwarf-like paranoia!  Can’t you just picture him?  This little “f*****g” dwarf half dressed, half naked, shouting all kinds of obscenities and phrases that make no sense at all, opening and closing doors, looking like a beady eyed little roach, scurrying through my body looking for who knows what, yelling, laughing, giggling, then as quick as it started he stops with the look and stare of Cheech and Chong lounging in Frank Zappa’s garage exchanging thoughts and ideas as if they were philosophy professors arguing about Schrodinger’s Cat!!!  WTF!!!

And who’s missing from all this mayhem?

DOC

This little bitch has been on a sabbatical.  He’s decided to climb the Himalayan Mountains and explore the Tibetan Monks and their way of life.  I think he’s decided to give up the traditional form of western medicine along with his PhD. all together to explore the many other forms of medicine provided by Mother Nature.  Let’s just hope he doesn’t sample any of the wrong mushrooms or lick any red toads while he’s out exploring.